2014 Scholarship Winners

Our 2014 TIS Legacy Scholarship winners are (from left to right) Laveni Vaka, Kaylene Spears, Mckenzie Stevenson, and Adam Hunt.  While all of the essays were written very well and, from the selection committee, "we could have chosen any of the applicants as winners and been happy with them", these four stood out.  Selections of their essays are quoted below.

Laveni Vaka: "I have learned here that all kids are not the same and we all think differently especially about people with different skin color.  But my choice is to love everyone.  ...My grandparents came from Tonga and worked hard to provide for their family with no education.  That is why it is important for me to go to college so I can do better in the future and not have to struggle like my mom and grandparents.  My dream is to attend college and be a lawyer to help people.  ...I want my family to be proud of me."

Kaylene Spears: "Seventh grade is one of the best years I've had.  ...I have learned a lot about myself this year.  I understand that I am very independent in my education.  I've learned what kind of friends and people I want to be around.  ...In college I want to get my bachelors degree in social work and then get my masters degree... Education is something that is very important to me.  [My family has some struggles and] it's going to be a little hard to pay for college.  The past two years [at] Tonaquint has been... tremendous years.  The teachers are great and they are helping me and everyone else prepare to go to college and get an education."

Mckayla Stevenson: "I look back at the past 7 years and realize how far I've come and yet I can see how far I have to go.  ...When I [got] into the 2nd-3rd grade class... [my mom] was told I was unable to learn!  My mom did everything she could to help me at home... and we pushed through it.  ...6th grade at Tonaquint Intermediate School was a turning point, my reading level went up and I started doing better in math.  My experiences at Tonaquint have helped me become a better person and student in every way.  [I tried out for and made the volleyball team], I decided to try Honors Math, SSA, Intramurals, Reflections, Dramatic Arts Fair and the Talent Show.  ...I learned how to to build friendships, deal with others, work hard and keep my grades up, help and forgive others and how to be happy.  ...I can't believe that in just two years at Tonaquint I have been able to go from a [struggling] student to a straight A student... just look at me now!"

Adam Hunt: "I wish to attend college so I can get a better, more specialized, specific education.  I want to major in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  I plan to get accepted by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, studying and doing well on tests, and doing extracurricular activities.  ...I have been privileged to compete in Math Counts... Through CTE classes, I have studied about a variety of different careers that I can go into, and what jobs would be a good option for me."

Please join with us in congratulating the 2014 TIS Legacy Scholarship winners!!!